Suicide Forest by Russell Holbrook
A fictional representation of a real Cursed Location – Aokigahara Forest
I’m in a forest, all alone. I came here to die, because it was time. I’d heard it on the wind, the soft whisper of my destiny. I saw my path carved out in rivulets of blood that flowed in meandering streams over the bark of the towering trees; The trees that blocked out the cursed sun with their looming, wooden arms.
This is my new, eternal home. I spread out my favorite blanket in a tiny clearing. I swallow twenty-three morphine pills. I wait. I quickly consume seven shots of whiskey. I smoke a cigarette. I wait. The pills and the alcohol stir within. My body weighs me down. When I turn toward a sudden sound of snapping twigs, the motion makes me feel like I am underwater. I nearly tip over. I light another cigarette and drop it in my lap on the third drag. I watch the cherry burn a hole in my favorite green cargo pants. When I feel the lit tobacco burning the flesh of my thigh, I stop staring at the cigarette, pick it back up, and take another drag. The sharp burning sensation in my thigh congeals into a dull throb. I hear a bird above me. I smile.
Life seems so perfect and serene right now. I ask myself why I would want to leave something so nice. I don’t get an answer. I ask again. Still, no answer, no reason, just a knowing that I need to take my own life. I yawn. Now is the time, before I lose all consciousness and control of my motor functions. I pull the small, black pocket knife from my satchel. It is the same knife my father used to slit his wrists, and the same tool used by his father before him. The blade is caked with rust and dried blood.
“No matter what, it can never, ever be washed,” my father had said when he passed the knife down to me. The crust made the knife difficult to open but, after a momentary struggle, the blade was extended. I am staring into the blade’s filthy surface, seeing no reflection, no light, only dark and hopeless, bleak serenity. The wooden handle is black. It is worn smooth from being jostled around in the pockets of three generations of Tessier men, three generations of killers. I think about the knife, about all that it has seen, and about all that it has done: all the flesh it has carved, all the screams and agony it has evoked, all the wonderful horror it has created. I think of the anguish of my victims’ families, and that of my father’s victims, and those of his father before him as well. In my mind I hear their tortured cries. I giggle with nostalgic glee. I sway and nearly topple over. Then I plunge the blade into the center of my left arm. With inebriated determination, I move the knife through my skin and meat, from the crook of my elbow to my wrist. I stare at my arm, watching the blood bubble and ebb and flow from my skin. And then, unexpectedly, I no longer wish to die. I still have so much to do, so much beauty to create. I wish I could take it back, fold the knife back up, put it back in my pocket, and go home. Live a few minutes in reverse to change the course of destiny. I wish and I wish and I wish. Then:
Suddenly I stop: I know it’s too late. My father taught me that we all have expiration dates, both personally and professionally, and that we need to know when to bow out. I remember that this is my time. I lay back and listen to the soft sounds of the forest. I let go.
I’m dead in a forest, all alone. I don’t know how long I’ve been here. I watched beasts take apart my carcass. Birds pecked out my eyes. It felt magnificent to be melding back into nature, becoming one with all life, becoming food, giving comfort and nourishment to creatures in the wild. As I once used my body to take life, now I use it to give life. And I am in the forest and the forest is in me, and forever and ever and ever we shall be.